Thunderbirds models

Ships and submarines

Marc J. Frattasio

Rescue boat

rescue boat
This hydrofoil rescue boat was featured in Operation Crash Dive. The same model was used as a harbor patrol boat in The Man from MI5 and was later reused as the Base Concord launch in the Captain Scarlet episode Renegade Rocket. It also appeared in the background of harbor scenes in a number of other Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet episodes. It looks like a plastic PT boat kit formed the basis of this model. Boats such as this were usually filmed while attached to an underwater trolley which slid on tracks on the bottom of the water tank.

WNS reaper

reaper
The World Navy submarine 'Reaper' was featured in Atlantic Inferno. This model was made of wood. The four 'Gyropedoes' mounted on its hull were made from plastic model aircraft external fuel tanks. This model was reused in the Captain Scarlet episode White As Snow and with a modified conning tower in the Joe90 episode Splash Down. The white 'foam' visible behind this model was caused by detergent added to the water in the filming tank.

Target submarine

target submarine
This World Navy target submarine was featured in Atlantic Inferno. The model appears to have been made from a modified Renwall plastic nuclear submarine kit with new sponsons made from an unknown B-58 Hustler kit's fuel tanks and new diving planes made from an unknown F-104 Starfighter kit's horizontal stabilizer fins. This model appears to have been destroyed in filming.

USS sentinel

uss sentinal
The USS 'Sentinel', a missile armed high speed U.S. Navy strike vessel, accidentally shot down Thunderbird 2 in Terror in New York City. This model was made out of wood with kit parts and other bits added for detail. Large bridge and deck sections were also built for close up shots.

Floating cranes

floating cranes
These floating cranes were used in a futile effort to free the Mars Space Probe from the wreckage of the collapsed Arlington Bridge in Day of Disaster. These relatively simple models were made from wood combined with Airfix OO scale Girder Bridge kit parts. Parts of these floating cranes were reused on the shipyard set constructed for Danger at Ocean Deep.

3E submarine

3e submarine
The 3E submarine was used by the Hood in Desperate Intruder. The same model was also used as a toy submarine in the Tracy family's swimming pool in another episode of Thunderbirds. This model appears to have been made of wood.

FAB2

fab2
fab2 is Lady Penelope's luxury yacht. The model was featured in and Lord Parker's 'oliday. This model was made of wood with kit parts, model ship fittings, and other bits added for detail.

Spy boat

spy boat
This small motor boat was used by the mysterious spy in The Man from MI5. This model was made of wood with kit parts, model ship fittings, and other bits added for detail.

Spy submarine

spy submarine
This spy submarine was featured in The Man from MI5. This model used a plastic kit or toy 'midget' race car body for its hull (the back of the car is the front of the submarine) and had a wooden conning tower filling the car's cockpit. Various kit parts and other bits, including the lift fans from two Airfix SRN-1 hovercraft kits, were stuck on for detail. This model was rebuilt from the World Navy submarine seen in the Stingray episode The Man from the Navy.

Ocean Pioneer 1 and 2

ocean pioneer
The ill-fated Ocean Pioneer ships were used in Danger at Ocean Deep to transport a substance called liquid Alsterine. It looks like at least two models were made, perhaps one larger than the other, and that these models were made out of wood. One model (a small one) still exists in Phil Rae's collection in the UK. Large bridge and helicopter pad sections were also built for close up shots.

Small motorboat

small motorboat
This small motorboat was featured in Attack of the Alligators!. This simple puppet scale model was mad out of balsa wood sheet. Note the real live Cayman lizards standing in for alligators on the puppet stage!

WNS atlantic

wns atlantic
The catamaran aircraft carrier 'Atlantic' was the flagship of a large World Navy exercise fleet featured in Atlantic Inferno. The Atlantic was also featured in The Imposters. It looks like this was another wooden model detailed with kit parts and other bits. A large bridge and flight deck section, with motorized radar antennae and operating aircraft launch ramps, was constructed for close up shots.

Target ship

target ship
This target ship, featured in Edge of Impact, looks like it may have been one of the freighters from the Stingray episode The Disappearing Ships. This model was made of wood with kit parts and other bits stuck on for detail. It was destroyed during filming.

Seascape oil rig

seascape
The Seascape offshore oil drilling rig was featured in Atlantic Inferno. This large and elaborate model was made of wood with kit parts and other bits stuck on for detail. Large scale sections were built for use in scenes with a diving bell and Thunderbird 1. This model was destroyed in filming.
This page published originally at the Supermarionation sfx WebSite
text ©1996 Marc J. Frattasio; not for reproduction for profit without his express permission